Preparing for a Buyer's Call

Creating an advertisement is only the first step in the selling process. Once it's online or in the papers, you'll need to be prepared for potential buyers to begin making contact.

To make a sale and negotiate a good selling price, follow these suggestions when you speak with buyers over the phone.

How to Prepare for the Call

Before you receive your first phone call, there are a few things you should do to make the process as smooth and simple as possible.

  • Clearly stating your availability.
    • List the days and times you are available to receive calls.
      • This will help you to avoid random phone calls when you might be unable to respond.
    • To sell your vehicle quickly, keep your schedule as open as possible.
  • Knowing what's on your ad.
    • If a buyer asks you a question and the information isn't written in your advertisement, it's a good idea to revise your ad to include it.
  • Giving buyers the option to call or e-mail.
    • Some buyers may not wish or need to speak with you over the phone. Providing an e-mail address will give them an alternative option, and can save you time spent fielding calls.

Questions to Expect from Buyers

There are specific questions potential buyers expect you to be able to answer. To be thorough, it's generally a good idea to consider your responses before the questions are asked.

A few questions you should expect include:

  • What are you reasons for selling?
  • How many owners have there been?
  • What condition is the vehicle in?
  • Can I have the vehicle inspected by a mechanic before I decide to buy?
  • What's your best price?

Make sure you're fully prepared with the answers you need—visit our page on common questions that buyers ask sellers.

Speaking with Potential Buyers

How you perform on the phone call (or via e-mail) can make a big difference in determining whether or not you complete the sale.

Here are a few things you should keep in mind:

  • Consider your tone of voice.
    • Attempt to sound helpful, courteous, and positive—these attributes are all reassuring for the buyer.
  • Be honest.
    • Don't try to hide things that are wrong with the car during your conversation—it could backfire. Once the buyer sees the vehicle and determines you've been dishonest, you'll have lost all credibility.
  • Don't be anxious to make a quick sale.
    • Desperation to sell your vehicle quickly can give buyers the wrong impression and send them running. Be patient and find the right buyer who will be happy with your vehicle.
  • If the buyer seems serious, arrange a test drive.
    • Encourage buyers over the phone to come and see your vehicle in person. This will provide you with an opportunity to make a sales pitch.
  • Use caution.
    • Unusual requests over the phone are often a warning sign for potential fraud attempts.
      • Buyers that want to wire money or negotiate without having seen the vehicle should be avoided.
    • If your gut tells you something isn't right, it's best to walk away.
  • Ask for the buyer's contact information.
    • This will help to confirm his or her identity in future interactions. It can also help to make follow-up calls easier.
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